Serpes et serpettes

The serpes and serpettes (small billhooks) or France are as varied as those from the UK... Unlike in Britain where by the end of the 19th century most small regional makers had disappered, and a few industrial scale edge tool makers were supplying 95% of the market from their centres in the industrialised Midland counties, in France the small regional edge tool maker, or 'taillandier' continued well into the 20th century.


As a result many hundreds of regional patterns of billhook survive, many bearing the maker's mark of name and town. From year books ('annuaires') and almanachs I have created a list of over 4000 makers of edge tools, and each year I find many more from tools, whose makers did not pay to have their name entered in the book.